I'm giving this talk the same way I present information in a "professional" setting:

  1. I give as much information before the meeting as possible. (Can the meeting be avoided with more information sharing? If yes, share more information)
  2. I give everyone time to review the notes I have prepared.
  3. Summarize, summarize, summarize.
  4. Lead with the important bits. 

I work at Litmus, Inc. It's a Boston-based software company that is a really cool place to work. We're growing ~50%/year (did $15.4mm in business last year. Growing quickly. I was employee 31, we're about to pass employee #50. Competent employees/staff, good pay, 6 weeks paid vacation, good equipment, and most importantly, we're a remote-friendly company. (that's the biggest benefit to me).

I want to share information that may help some of you end up in really satisfying jobs in a few years. I shamelessly promote the benefits of software and the internet. You can work in "progressive" work environments and do things that impact tens of thousands of people. There are certainly other good jobs out there, but many have more red tape or barriers to entry.

Your Second Job is the First One that Matters

tl;dr (definition): Don't stress about the next few years, or your first "real" job. It doesn't matter that much. Only two things really matter:

  1. What you do with the opportunity you have
  2. What you do outside of work

By the time you are looking for your second job, you can collect much evidence that you're skilled, competent, enjoyable to work with, and effective at what you do. You also might start having a small clue about what you want to do.

Exhibit A, Josh's working career:

  1. Part time @ climbing gym
  2. Full time @ climbing gym
  3. Fired from climbing gym
  4. Mish-mash of things while unemployed. Notable projects: "consulting", customer development, process optomization.
  5. Part-time customer support for not-very-good web platform
  6. Full time customer support for not very good web platform.
  7. Full-time remote work for successful, innovative company. Start traveling the world. 

Reframe your job search

Quickly skim the following:

  1. Instagram
  2. Twitter
  3. This website

Compare these to this resume:



Successful companies on hiring

Basecamp is an influential thought leader in software, here's what they say about writing:


"If you are trying to decide between a few people to fill your position, always hire the better writer." 

Expensify (who goes on a one-month team retreat every year) says on their "work with us" page:




So now what?

We're done. I've said what I have to say. Now you can ask questions, for file stuff away for later.

Shoot me an email if you'd like. I'm at thompsonjoshd@gmail.com, or on twitter: @josh_works.


Sources that got me through college and beyond, in no particular order


  1. Study Hacks (this got me through college)
  2. Zapier Blog
  3. Helpscout Blog
  4. Hacker News
  5. Altucher Confidential Be careful. He's contrarian.
  6. Scott Young
  7. The Art of Non-Conformity
  8. GrooveHQ
  9. Both Sides of the Table

Misc communities:

  1. Hacker News
  2. Reddit


  1. So Good They Can't Ignore You
  2. Rework

Learn Tech on the side (Get instant points when applying to any job if you can mention html/css/javascript, no matter how basic. Seriously, it takes 40 hours of studying to exceed 95% of the population in these skills)

  1. Code Academy
  2. Team Treehouse
  3. Quora (start here)

Build/participate in Community

  1. Find people on Twitter that seem to be good at what they do. Talk with them a little.
  2. Join the "GCC People Building Interesting Things" Slack group, started by Jordan Koschei. (Send him or I an email/tweet)

PS Some of you are going to watch/listen and say "hm, interesting" and never think about this again. A few of you will take action. Be part of the latter group. The world is run by people who take unusual steps to secure good things. It's not nearly as competitive as you think.